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On The Road

These cars are winners by most measures


The Infiniti G35 rivals the performance of BMW's 3-series.

Here are a few cars we've recently driven that we liked, but didn't have space to write about in detail.

Infiniti G35 Sports Sedan

Horsepower: 280

Torque: 270 pound-feet

Zero-60: 6 seconds

Fuel economy: 18 city, 25 highway

Base price: $31,300

As tested: $31,950

In brief: Front-engine, rear-drive V6 four-door sports sedan redesigned in 2005 to compete with BMW's 3-series, offering equal performance with better styling and a lower price.

Likes: More-than-satisfying handling and response, attractive styling, roomy interior.

Dislikes: Quibbles only: audio controls hard to use, cupholders won't hold two lattes side-by-side.

Subaru Impreza WRX

Horsepower: 230 horsepower

Torque: 235 pound-feet

Zero-60: 6.4 seconds

Fuel economy: 20 city, 26 highway

Base price: $24,995

As tested: $25,620

In brief: Turbocharged four-cylinder front-drive four-door sports sedan redesigned for 2006. Good-sized interior suited to younger driver starting a family. Sti version, with 300 horsepower, 0-60 in 5 seconds, and aggressive styling available for young enthusiast ($32,995).

Likes: Very quick around town, fun to drive with responsive handling, but with sleeper appearance.

Dislikes: Bland interior; lightweight, less-than-solid feeling

Ford Explorer LTD 4x4

Horsepower: 292 horsepower

Torque: 300 pound-feet

Cargo space: 83.7 cu.ft. Towing: 7,120 lb.

Fuel economy: 15 city, 20 highway

Base price: $35,940

As tested: $45,930

In brief: Full-sized offroad-capable, 6-passenger SUV. Limited has luxury interior trim.

Likes: As the best-selling SUV, the Explorer is the benchmark and continues to be the best of the lot for 2006. Good handling, comfortable interior, excellent offroad and towing capability.

Dislikes: Top-of-line trim is too much of a good thing. Lower-priced models offer better SUV value. Rear seat console limits cargo space.

 

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